‘10 Days’ Equine Therapy Mini-Doc, With Respect, From Canada

Candace Wade offers this review of  ‘10 Days,’ a mini-documentary from filmmaker Patrice Beriault. The main take-away? This is a film you don’t want to miss and will remind you how fortunate you are to have horses in your life.

Filmmaker Patrice Beriault bestows a graceful gift of therapy upon us. Don’t glaze over. We’ve slogged through a year of perdition. Some riders have chained themselves to the pressure of peak performance now that shows have returned. Patrice’s mini-doc, “10 Days,” is a palliative mini-break.

You can skip this review and drop right into the ranch in Quesnel, BC (the Cariboo Regional District):

Or, eat a cookie and read on to understand why I urge you to expose your riders’ hearts to “10 Days.”

Many of the men and women interviewees are First Responders. They share their mental exhaustion due to long-term onslaught of hypervigilance — the weight of the demands of the roll of leadership — personal injury — jarring loss.

Photo courtesy of Patrice Beriault.

I could check off some of those boxes due to grief. I lost my husband of 35 years to cancer. He was my life mate, playmate and riding buddy. Some competitive riders burden themselves with the pressure-load of drive for peak performance. An accident, injury or fear of not winning after months of “mission driven” training can create grasping anxiety attacks.

I struggle with a loss of confidence. I toil to banish the anxiety-echoes in my head. The negative messages are “muscular” and feel tangible. In other words, I can relate – we riders can relate.

Photo courtesy of Patrice Beriault.

Choose to step gently out of a comfort zone, but not into fear. Give ourselves credit for “showing up.” Abandon our self-imposed “mission-driven” interaction. We can release the expectation “goblins” — we can choose to trust — remember to breathe. Competitive riders can embrace herd dynamics to believe they are not alone in spite of competition. We function more successfully when connected to our horses and trusted “others.”

Photo courtesy of Patrice Beriault.

No, Virginia, “10 Days” is not a gooey, horsey-sentimental, “stick to the roof of your mouth” equine therapy video. Patrice’s storytelling is elegant, personal and offers a broad range of experiences that can be identified as PTSD. “10 Days” is a generous journey. I clicked “pause” with a strong desire to hang out and have coffee with the interviewees.

Photo courtesy of Patrice Beriault.

Why is watching worth your time? Most riders need to be reminded to breathe. Many of us have chained our riding onto “mission-mission-mission.” We have misplaced our feeling of security and power. We may have forgotten to allow our barns and horses be a refuge. “10 Days” reminded me how fortunate I am to have horses in my life.

I encourage you to check out “10 Days” Facebook and Patrice Beriault’s website.

Watch these interviews with participants on Radio Canada – Canadian BBC.

Patrice Beriault